Pool safety is about more than Fido’s ability to swim. Often we focus on our dog’s swimming skills and sun safety, but fail to consider the chemical dangers that dogs are exposed to while splashing around the pool. Consider the following:
- Undiluted pool chemicals are extremely corrosive and if ingested, they can cause severe ulcers in the mouth, throat and esophagus which can be life-threatening.
Warning Signs: drooling, oral sores, mouth pain, vomiting, anorexia and/or bloody vomit or stool.
- Pool water, while diluted, still contains chlorine and algicides, which when ingested can make a dog sick.
Warning Signs: mild vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Salt water pools and oceans can cause life-threatening hypernatremia (high concentration of sodium ions in the blood) if your pet drinks an excessive amount.
Warning Signs: extreme thirst, vomiting, dehydration, impaired balance or coordination, tremors and/or seizures.
- Sunscreens and bug sprays may contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets if ingested or applied topically.
DO NOT use sunscreens or bug repellants on your pets unless they are labeled as being safe for animals.
- Alcohol, even in small amounts is extremely dangerous to pets if ingested and can result in death.
Warning Signs: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity and/or coma.
If your pet is exposed to any of these chemicals, rinse their mouth (or skin) with fresh water and call your emergency veterinarian.
Thank you to the ASPCA for providing these important safety tips.